Friday, August 10, 2012

Ed Brown --- Day 216

Walk: Mindful Body, Rose's Gift Gallery, Hayes Street Timbuktu, Sports Basement
Distance: 3+ miles and teach class

Today's entry is dedicated to my old boss and friend, Ed Brown.  A special man with a prescient eye.  He had an art gallery - mini-museum really - on Hayes Street where his eye was so exacting he was able to discern quilts so excellent that the famous Esprit Collection is comprised almost solely of quilts from Ed's Gallery.  Same goes for African, Indonesian and South American artifacts and textiles.  Traders from all over the world made their first stop Miller/Brown Gallery and most considered Ed a friend.  And so he was, helping many contemporary artists by supporting them and placing their works in as many corporate and private collections as he could.  That was the third prong of Ed's 'museum' - this prong earning its first class distinction by the contribution of Michael Miller who had taught at Cranbrook and had vast connections in the craft world attracting the finest weavers, basket makers, ceramicists, sculptors, and other fiber and metal artists.  I was incredibly lucky to have worked for Ed and Michael and have the opportunity to know them as well as get to know in depth many aspects of arts and crafts - as well as many of the actual artists and traders.  More perhaps in another entry.

Today I went down to Hayes Street, one of the most actively developing and thriving neighborhoods in the city.  Young, Hip, Cool, and coming to have more and more depth.  Ed's gallery was 30 years ahead of its time.  He saw what was going to happen - when others thought it impossible at best.  There was only one 'safe' block then; the rest abutted the projects where meth, crack and gangs abounded.  It was dark, noisy with the freeway overhead.

Ed kept saying "The freeway will be torn down.  This will be a really popular neighborhood." He said it over and over for years.  Then he died of AIDS.  Young, beautiful, sensitive, cultured, kind, generous, a Renaissance Man.

And 10 years later, the freeway came down and the boutiques began to arrive.

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